Shifting the Stones

Confucius said, "The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones." Such is the principle of proactivity based upon, of taking small steps to advance great lengths, ultimately. The key, of course, is to begin the process.

Complacency is man’s worst enemy; however, settling into such a mindset is perhaps one of the simplest tasks to accomplish. Never mind that “To Do” list – it will be there tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that. This is closely followed by its evil bedfellow, entitlement; that sense that you somehow deserve more than you have without feeling the need to prove it, or earn it, as the case may be. 

Together, these flaws can lead once promising, motivated individuals down a path of bitterness, resentment and arrogance – not a flattering combination. The problem is, you don’t see it happening. You exist day to day, you settle into your routines, and then…well, then you just settle. Ambition flies out the window, and with it, that drive that propelled you forward for so many years falls flat.

As easy as it is to fall prey to this downward spiral, it takes a concerted effort to right the ship and get back on course. This is where the “small stones” come into play. Even something as simple as making lists, outlines of what needs to be done in a particular time frame, can help. Sometimes, the simple act of checking an item off can make all the difference in turning a gloomy outlook into one of positivity.

One item. One stone. One day at a time. And repeat, for as long as it takes to accomplish whatever it is your goal may be, whether something as simple as saving money for a particular item; or perhaps a far loftier ambition to go out and change the world. Whatever it is, however complex, all can be achieved using the same basic steps.

So begin. And maintain. And, before you know it, this newfound motivation will become the stuff of habit – the good kind… the kind that leads to a fulfilling and successful life.


{Published: March 4th, 2015}

Jamie Lynn RyanComment